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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Boy Kills World, (2024) - Game On: Revenge in a Silent World

Rating: ★★★½☆ (4/5 Stars)

Released 04-26-2024

Watched 04-22-2024

Reviewed 04-23-2024

Watched in the theater Using Cinemark Movie Club (Secret Movie Series)

"You know how hard it is to get a cereal company to sponsor mass murder?"

"Boy Kills World," directed by Moritz Mohr and featuring an ensemble cast led by Bill Skarsgård, is a 2024 action thriller that combines visceral combat and a post-apocalyptic narrative. As Mohr's directorial debut, the film is ambitious, showcasing a vengeful crusade led by a protagonist known only as Boy, portrayed compellingly by Skarsgård. The film was produced by genre veterans Sam Raimi and Roy Lee, and it's evident that their influence permeates through the film's dark, stylish execution.

The plot of "Boy Kills World" is gripping but not without its clichés. After a brutal attack that leaves him deaf-mute, Boy is driven by the singular goal of revenge against the corrupt matriarch Hilda Van Der Koy, played with chilling austerity by Famke Janssen. The concept of Boy's inner thoughts being voiced by a childhood video game character (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) is an innovative narrative choice, though sometimes the execution feels more gimmicky than groundbreaking.

Bill Skarsgård delivers a performance that balances the physical demands of his martial arts-driven role with a nuanced portrayal of loss and rage. His interaction with the digital ghost of his sister adds a layer of emotional complexity that enriches the narrative. However, the supporting cast, despite being stellar, is underutilized.

Visually, the film is a spectacle. Filmed in South Africa, the backdrop contributes to the dystopian feel, with desolate landscapes and a stark, oppressive atmosphere that suits the story's tone. The action sequences are choreographed with precision, and the violence is unflinchingly graphic, catering to fans of hardcore action thrillers. However, these scenes of intense gore might not appeal to everyone and could be seen as overly gratuitous.

The pacing of "Boy Kills World" is uneven. The middle of the film suffers from a significant slowdown in narrative progression, which detracts from the initial momentum. This sagging midpoint makes the thrilling climax feel somewhat rushed. The twist at the end, while effective, might not be enough to redeem the film’s earlier pacing issues for some viewers.

Overall, "Boy Kills World" earns a solid 3.5 stars out of 5. It is an action-packed, if sometimes overly brutal, cinematic experience with a fresh take on the revenge thriller genre. The film's unique elements—like Boy's internal videogame-inspired monologue and the stark setting—add flavor to a familiar revenge plot. For fans of the genre who can stomach the high gore quotient, "Boy Kills World" is a compelling watch. However, it may not convert viewers looking for subtlety or those sensitive to explicit violence.


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